Looking for the Grebe.

Grebes are freshwater diving birds that can be small to medium large in size. Apart of being excellent swimmers, they can also run short distances but tend to fall forward due to the feet being placed further at the back. These birds have narrow wings, responding to danger by diving rather than flying.

Another photographer had told me about this bird that had been found in one of the ponds in the botanical garden but to locate it on a body of water early in the morning is no easy feat. This grebe in particular was called the Pied-billed grebe, the most common grebe in Eastern North America. Unfortunately it does not exhibit many colors, being rather dusky brown in appearance.

Here we were, my friend and I, scanning the pond for this elusive bird. It was only after walking around the pond that we noticed a bird right in the middle of the pond. Now, I as a photographer had my 300 mm lens while my friend had his 420 but still, the bird was too far off. We had to wait.

We stayed close to the shore and waited for the bird to move closer and finally it did by diving and reappearing at the far edge of the pond near the shore. We walked quickly near the area and proceeded to set up our gear. We did get lucky as the bird plunged and appeared very near us, giving us the opportunity to capture some good pictures. It was just unfortunate that the skies were cloudy. A dark bird with an overcast day is not the best combination for a good picture.

This bird does not stay very long, and sure enough, a few days later it had disappeared from the pond, leaving the usual ducks there. I was glad that I had seen it but my pictures would have been better had there been some more sun.


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